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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-21-2017

Bismarck Tribune, September 21, 1917:

The National baseball commission today announced that the world’s series would open on the grounds of the Chicago Americans, October 6, with the second game played there Sunday, October 7.
Soldiers now in France and also those who are preparing to fight for liberty, were remembered by the commission. Announcement was made that a 1,000 word story would be cabled to France after each game for the benefit of the soldiers there…

President Wilson and Generals Barry, Carter, Bell and McCain will be invited to attend the series.

“No, that’s cool, you guys have fun at the World Series. Enjoy yourselves. We’ll just hang out here in the trenches getting blown up.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:21 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-20-2017

Fulton County [Pennsylvania] News, September 20, 1917:

John Ganzel, manager of the Kansas City Blues, recently pulled a new stunt in the art of handling pitchers…Ganzel used two pitchers, interchangeably, between right field and the hurling hill. With two out and none on base Pierce, a southpaw, replaced Sanders against Indianapolis. He retired Wickland, a left-handed batter, and then went to right field to permit McQuillan, a right hander who had been playing the old soldiers’ garden, to pitch to Bronkie, who hits right-handed.

This is the earliest example of this tactic that I’ve seen, though I admit I haven’t spent a bunch of time on it. It’s interesting to me that managers as early as 1917 saw the platoon advantage as this important.

Also, “the old soldiers’ garden” meaning right field is a cool phrase and I’d love to know the etymology of it.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:26 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-19-2017

Harrisburg Telegraph, September 19, 1917:

Ping Bodie, of the Athletics, is an enthusiastic collector of baseball articles which have helped make history for the national game.

When the Athletics played in Detroit recently the Tigers made a triple play. When First Baseman Burns tossed the ball on the diamond after the three-ply killing Umpire Nallin obtained it.

“This should make quite a souvenir for you, Ping,” said Nallin, as he handed the ball to the big Italian.

“You betcha,” said Ping.

Seems like Ping Bodie was a cool guy. He was the butt of a bunch of jokes when he was a ballplayer, but every time I read anything about him personally, he sounds like a lot of fun.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 19, 2017 at 10:57 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, September 18, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-18-2017

El Paso Herald, September 18, 1917:

Ball games in the American league will be speeded up hereafter according to president Johnson, who has instructed his umpires not to tolerate any unnecessary delays.

The order today is the outgrowth of a complaint made by president Comiskey, of the Chicago Americans, who said that protests of some managers and players about the condition of the ball in recent games has made it necessary to play two hours or more.

Baseball in the 21st century: “Hold my beer and watch this.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 18, 2017 at 09:52 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, September 15, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-15-2017

Chicago Eagle, September 15, 1917:

Don’t use your meat hand to stop hard-hit balls that are batted back at you. If you do you may put an end to your pitching career.
Early last spring [Yankees pitcher Allen] Russell reached for a hard-hit ball through the box with his nude flipper. He got his hand on the ball and succeeded in retarding its progress, but immediately afterwards he suffered a sharp pain in the first two digits of his pitching hook, which was followed by numbness. Then his hand grew cold and he had to retire from the game.

Since that time Russell has suffered with a new ailment—that of cold fingers. It only comes upon him at intervals, but at such times he is unable to grip the ball, and therefore unable to control it, so he often has to leave the mound.

I’m not a medical professional, but that pretty much has to be a nerve injury, right?

Russell and his cold fingers stayed in the big leagues through 1925, putting up nearly 1400 innings of league-average performance as a swingman. He won a World Series ring with the ‘24 Senators, even if he couldn’t feel it on his finger.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:23 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-14-2017

Pittsburgh Press, September 14, 1917:

Ray Caldwell isn’t in jail [in New York] today, but it isn’t the fault of New York fans.

When Caldwell was served with an order for his arrest on a charge of abandoning his wife and their seven-year-old son, the New York club planned to take enough money from the gate receipts of the Boston-New York game to make up his bail of $1,000. They found, however, there were not enough spectators to make the required sum and Ray had to get his bail elsewhere.

Jeez, guys, what about a fundraiser for the wife and son?

Caldwell was a…unique guy. He was an alcoholic who jumped his Yankees contract to play in the Federal League in 1915, then in the same offseason jumped his Federal League contract to pitch for the Yankees. He would disappear without notice during road trips, showed up a week late for Spring Training in 1917 because he had been pitching in Panama under an assumed name, and once threw 9.2 innings of relief, got the win, and was arrested for grand larceny on the same day. In 1919, when Caldwell signed for Cleveland, manager Tris Speaker had a clause inserted in the pitcher’s contract requiring him to get drunk after every game he pitches, then giving him the next day off.

Perhaps the most famous Ray Caldwell story is about the time he got struck by lightning on the mound, then finished the game and got the win.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:40 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Kelly’s Last Trip: The King of Players Put Out by Death

Good stuff here.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 14, 2017 at 08:18 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-13-2017

Pittsburgh Press, September 13, 1917:

James C. Dunn, president of the Cleveland Americans, protested the game which Umpire Owens forfeited to Chicago last Sunday with the score tied in the tenth inning. Owens forfeited the game because he believed the Cleveland players were making a burlesque out of the contest.

The protest was denied.

The story, as best as I can tell: Cleveland’s Jack Graney was called out, the third out of the tenth inning, for interfering with Chicago third baseman Fred McMillan on a pickoff attempt. As a result, the Indians freaked out and argued with Owens for 20 minutes with darkness approaching. Then, in the bottom of the tenth, Indians catcher Steve O’Neill made the traditional throw to third base after a strikeout. Third baseman Ivan Howard intentionally let the ball whiz past him into left field, where Graney turned his back on the ball and refused to pick it up. That was enough for umpire Brick Owens, who called an end to the day’s proceedings.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 13, 2017 at 10:29 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, umpshow

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-12-2017

Tulsa Daily World, September 12, 1917:

Uncle Sam’s uniforms are worth a ticket to baseball games in Cincinnati. All soldiers in uniform will be admitted free to games at the Cincinnati National league park, President Herrman announces. This offer, however, will be suspended on Sundays.

That’s very cool of them. No snark. Thumbs up.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 12, 2017 at 10:29 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, September 11, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-11-2017

Butte Daily Post, September 11, 1917:


To the average American fan his reading accounts of the game in British papers will be truly interesting. In brief, one of the London contemporaries has termed the sport “Merry Hulla-Ballo.” Thus far the foreign critics have not fully grasped the common expression of “That’s the boy.”
While Stanley, the Canadian twirler, was displaying an effective delivery, the fans complained that he was throwing too fast to follow the ball. The Britishers spoke of the extra-base clouts as being very “big” hitting and they were particularly interested in the gloves worn by the players.

Foul balls must have blown their minds.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 11, 2017 at 11:07 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Svrluga-No Joke, The Nationals Have Evolved Into One Of Baseball’s Best Franchises

His Most Reverend Barry puts the Nationals’ journey into perspective. A good read.

Stephen Strasburg was first out of the clubhouse and up the dugout steps, and Bryce Harper was right behind him, and that’s just the perfect introduction to the 2017 National League East champions – the two players who best represent the transformation from irrelevant, 100-loss jokes into what the Washington Nationals are now, which is a contender for best franchise in baseball.

Bote Man Posted: September 10, 2017 at 10:07 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: history, nationals, nl east

Friday, September 08, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-8-2017

Seattle Star, September 8, 1917:

Shortstop Lavan and Second Baseman Pratt, of the Browns, have each filed suit against P.D. Ball, president of the club, for $50,000 damages, for alleged slanderous statements contained in an interview in a St. Louis paper.

The petitions assert Ball, “by his statements, meant and intended to charge that the plaintiffs and other players failed to play a good game of ball, and that the plaintiff was unfaithful and dishonest in his business and profession of baseball.”

Ball denies the charges.

Nothing gets a player excited to come to work quite like the owner accusing them of dogging it.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 08, 2017 at 09:37 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-7-2017

El Paso Herald, September 7, 1917:

[Pirates manager Hugo Bezdek:] “Ty Cobb says the trouble with the Germans is that they don’t play [baseball]. Well, why don’t they? The answer is easy; They’ve never been taught to play it. Germany has no national sport which calls for the meeting of man against man in competition. There’s your answer for the things they have done in Belgium and in France: they have never been taught fair play and good sportsmanship. I tell you it makes a difference.

Okay, so maybe Hugo is wrong about a national sport leading to peace and human decency in Germany.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 07, 2017 at 09:24 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-6-2017

A handful of stories from the Pittsburgh Press, September 6, 1917:

The following significant letter was sent to the sporting editor of the [Baltimore] American by Ban Johnson.
“Mr. Miner, Manager Griffith and Edward Walsh are the three principal stockholders and they all denied flatly that the Washington club was to be transferred…I am free to confess that Baltimore is entitled to a place in the major leagues, but how it can be brought about, I do not feel warranted to discuss at this time. Chicago and New York are the only cities in the United States that can well sustain two major league clubs…Boston, Philadelphia and St. Louis would be much better in a baseball way with one club to support.”

On a complaint of non-support made by his former wife…Lawrence R. Cheney, a pitcher for the Brooklyn National league baseball team, yesterday waived extradition and was taken to Florida where an effort will be made to straighten out the trouble…He was arrested about a week ago at the request of the governor of Florida.

[Browns owner Phil Ball:] “Salaries will be cut next season. These fellows are wrong when they think they can get away from the Browns by ‘laying down.’”

Seems like open warfare with your players is a sub-optimal way to run a ballclub.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 06, 2017 at 10:41 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-5-2017

Seattle Star, September 5, 1917:

[Carl] Mays has speed, a good curve and a change of pace. In addition his underhand delivery is hard for most batsmen to hit because they do not bat against it often enough to get accustomed to it.
[Mays:] “In the minor leagues I was always having arguments with managers who believed the underhand delivery was to be tabooed because it was scarcely ever used.

“That was the best reason, to my notion, for keeping on using it. A batter is less likely to hit the kind of pitching he seldom sees than that he runs across every day.”

It worked for him. Carl Mays won 207 major league games, led the league in shutouts and complete games twice each, and won a total of 53 games in 1920-21.

He was a heck of a pitcher who’s unfairly remembered for one (admittedly hugely historically significant) pitch.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 05, 2017 at 10:06 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, September 01, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-1-2017

Chicago Eagle, September 1, 1917:

There are rumors and much whispering about the third major league plan which, it is said, may be put into effect when the season ends. The plan provides for clubs from Buffalo, Toronto, Baltimore, Newark, Indianapolis, Toledo, Milwaukee, and Kansas City. Let us hope some of these predictions come true. It will be good to see those cities represented in the big leagues.

An attempt at a major league with teams in Buffalo, Newark, Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Kansas City? Sounds like a great idea. How in the world had nobody already tried that in the mid-1910s?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 01, 2017 at 10:17 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-31-2017

Butte Daily Post, August 31, 1917:

“Sammies” being American soldiers in World War I.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 31, 2017 at 09:53 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-30-2017

El Paso Herald, August 30, 1917:

McAlester and Ardmore, leaders and tail enders respectively of the Western association Wednesday played a nine inning championship game in 36 minutes. The players raced from the bench to the field between innings and the pitchers worded [sic] as repidly as they could and retain control.

I remember when the Yankees and Red Sox did this. They were able to play a nine-inning game in as little as five hours.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 30, 2017 at 10:40 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-29-2017

Western League president E.W. Dickerson, quoted in the Marshalltown [Iowa] Evening Times-Republican:

Umpires with chips on their shoulders, backed by presidents who were trying to mimic Ban Johnson, have done more to lessen the interest in baseball than all other causes combined.

There is not the slightest reason why baseball should be stopped on account of the war. In fact, baseball should thrive even more now than in times of peace, for, when the boys of America get into action the public will wish to have its mind taken off these somber things by baseball and other sports.

Toronto has contributed more to the British army than perhaps any city in the United States ever will send to Europe. Last year Toronto was the only city in the International league that played to a profit.

E.W. Dickerson appears to have been a guy who was unafraid to speak his mind.

Also, he should not be confused with E.D. Dickerson.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 29, 2017 at 12:57 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, August 28, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-28-2017

Washington Times, August 28, 1917:

An air of mystery surrounds the reported franchise shift in the American League today. It is reported that “certain stockholders of the Washington club have been notified to attend a meeting at which the proposition will be discussed.” Some of those questioned today say they know nothing about such a meeting. And there the matter rests, while Baltimore seethes in anticipation of owning a major league baseball club in 1918.

Washington Herald, August 28, 1917:

There is no foundation whatsoever for this rumor…Baltimore never was a major league baseball town and never will be one, as they have proven time and again that they cannot support big attractions.

Well, they’re both wrong. Washington kept its ballclub through the end of 1960 and Baltimore became a major league baseball town in 1954.

Baltimore has, of course, done a fine job supporting its ballclub. On the other hand, they do hold the MLB record for lowest single-game attendance.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 28, 2017 at 10:10 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 25, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-25-2017

Chicago Eagle, August 25, 1917:

Fielder Jones, manager of the St. Louis Americans, believes he is the only major league center fielder that ever received an error for muffing a foul ball. Years ago Jones was playing the middle garden for Brooklyn…A left field hitter of the McInnis type came to bat and the outfielder shifted so sharply that he was really playing left field. The batter sent up a long fly…Kelley and Jones raced after the ball, and the latter got his hands on it, but the sphere fell from his grasp into foul territory.

You’ve gotta be one heck of a defensive center fielder to commit an error on a foul ball.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 25, 2017 at 10:44 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-24-2017

Washington Herald, August 24, 1917:

Low attendance records for the New York State League were smashed [in Scranton] Tuesday when only $12 was taken in at the game between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. The $12 included the gate and grandstand admissions. Scranton now is trying to transfer all home games to the grounds of the other five teams.

I’m pretty sure that’s not a sustainable business. I’d have figured at least a handful of Wilkes-Barre fans would have made the 20 mile trek to Scranton for the game, but apparently not. Or maybe they did and nobody from Scranton showed up.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 24, 2017 at 09:30 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-23-2017

New York Tribune, August 23, 1917:

It was a big day for Flatbush, but only a paltry 1,500 “bushers” were on hand to appreciate the fact.
The champions last year of the National League and Pittsburgh, the cellar champions of this year, occupied the stage when the battle for a decision opened. Thirteen innings had been played the day before to a tie, and it took twenty-two more frames to break the deadlock.

The conflict opened at 1:30 and ended at 5:45, with the home boys victorious in the longest struggle ever held in the National League.

Elmer Jacobs took the loss, throwing 16.2 innings of relief and allowing one run.

The win probability chart for this game would be crazy if we could see it. There would have been plenty of scoring chances; the two teams combined for 47 hits and 10 walks.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 10:27 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-22-2017

Pittsburgh Press, August 22, 1917:

If dreams come true Outfielder Harry Wolter will pitch a game for the Chicago Cubs before the season comes to a close.
While taking his nap [Cubs manager Fred Mitchell] dreamed Wolter was pitching a game for him against the Giants at the Polo Grounds and that the score was 0 to 0 in the fifteenth inning. How the contest came out Mitchell never will know for he woke up before it finished, but with a hunch, and that was to pitch Wolter in one of the contests on this trip.

...Wolter has been asking for a chance to twirl for several weeks, since it became apparent that the Cubs required another left handed pitcher.

Wolter never did get to pitch for the Cubs, but it wouldn’t have been completely crazy. He originally came up as a pitcher and was converted to the outfield.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 10:06 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Who Was George Wright? – Our Game

A guy with a very bad haircut is only part of the story.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2017 at 08:33 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: george wright, history

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